The Roots of African Conflicts — 2008

The Causes and Costs

Edited by Alfred Nhema and Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

“One of the major achievements of the book is pointing without complacency to the African causes of the conflicts, while not precluding the colonial legacy as ‘the most powerful precipitant’ of wars in Africa.”

The International Journal of African Historical Studies

“Africa is no more prone to violent conflicts than other regions. Indeed, Africa’s share of the more than 180 million people who died from conflicts and atrocities in the twentieth century is relatively modest.… This is not to underestimate the immense impact of violent conflicts on Africa; it is merely to emphasize the need for more balanced debate and commentary.”
—From the introduction by Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Violent conflicts have exacted a heavy toll on Africa’s societies, polities, and economies. This book presents African scholars’ views of why conflicts start in their continent. The causes of conflict are too often examined by scholars from the countries that run the proxy wars and sell the arms to fuel them. This volume offers theoretically sophisticated, empirically grounded, and compelling analyses of the roots of African conflicts.

Dr. Alfred G. Nhema is the executive secretary of OSSREA, the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa, Addis Ababa. He is the author of Democracy in Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Liberalization. He is also editor of The Quest for Peace in Africa: Transformations, Democracy and Public Policy (2004) ; and co-editor of Managing and Resolving African Conflicts: The Causes and Costs of Conflicts. Vol. 1, with Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, (2007) and Managing and Resolving African Conflicts: Conflict Resolution and Post-conflict Reconstruction. Vol. 2, with Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, (2007)

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza is Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and Presidential Professor of African American Studies and History at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Cover of 'The Roots of African Conflicts'


  • Études internationales, Vol. XL, No. 4, Dec. 2009
  • Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 46, No. 4, July 2009
  • Africa: The Journal of the IAI, Vol. 79, No. 4, Nov. 2009
  • African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 10, Issue 4; Spring 2009
  • The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2009

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